NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport had two Thursday Night Football injury updates on Monday morning. The Kansas City Chiefs were without wide receiver Sammy Watkins Sunday against the Houston Texans as he deals with a hamstring issue, and Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was held out for the second half against the Tennessee Titans with a knee injury.
From @gmfb: For the Thursday night game, the #Broncos are optimistic that WR Emmanuel Sanders (knee) will play, while the #Chiefs have a good shot at having WR Sammy Watkins back, too. He tweaked his hamstring late last week and missed Sunday's game. pic.twitter.com/eroFRJfHYf— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 14, 2019
RAPOPORT: “There is optimism that Watkins is able to go on Thursday... which is somewhat of a surprise considering he tweaked his hamstring during the week, was doubtful and then eventually did not play [Sunday]. This is not considered a minor injury.”
For what it is worth, Watkins injured his hamstring two Fridays ago and re-aggravated it by trying to play against the Colts. Also, I think Rapoport meant to say major instead of minor, but it is positive for the Chiefs that he is hearing from brass that Watkins could play.
RAPOPORT: “This goes to back to the discomfort he had in his knee—popped up on the injury report midway through the week for the Broncos, and it was decided — Sanders and the training staff — that basically, he just could not go [Sunday], was just in too much pain from that knee, so he was out in the second half. But my understanding is there’s a lot of optimism for him to be able to turn around and play on Thursday, so it does seem like Emmanuel Sanders is expected to be back.
Sanders led the Broncos with 868 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 2018, but in 2019, Denver’s leading receiver is Courtland Sutton. Still, Sanders is a key piece for the Broncos, so his injury status will be worth monitoring headed into Thursday night.